Where to Go: We understand why the word retreat might make you think of vitamin drips and colonics, thanks to medical detox centres like The LifeCo in Bodrum where Kate Moss famously frequents. While these places will forever be popular with those looking to focus on their health or address any signs of burnout, there is also a new wave of retreats which don’t involve wheatgrass shots and early wake-up calls, but are just as healing. These trips are ideal for those who want an adventure and to be taken care of, without the admin of compiling an itinerary or trying to assemble a group of friends to go on the same dates.
Influencer Lindsey Holland learnt how to surf in her ’30s, and she quickly fell in love with the sport and lifestyle so much that it inspired her to launch her own wellness retreat called Marnie Rays. These group trips are all about balance, giving guests the chance to learn something new, but with time to relax and make new friends. For next year, trips include surfing and mindfulness in Bali, hiking and paddleboarding in Greece and a more local surfing trip in Cornwall.
Dr Rebejah Jade is a doctor and yoga teacher that runs BPOC classes in London called Pana, and following the pandemic and Black Lives Matter she decided to create wellness retreats in Africa and the Caribbean, which are a celebration of Black culture. “Yoga, nature, community and travel are our tools for re-connection to our heritage,” Pana says of the concept for its retreats . The next available trip in October 2024 is to the coast in Ghana and is a digital detox with no Wifi or TVs, enabling you to really disconnect and be present in the experience.
In the wake of the pandemic, there has been a rise in group trips which focus on community and having fun while learning something new. If yoga or surfing isn’t for you, perhaps you’d be interested in learning a winter sport instead. Mount Noire and Off Piste Ski Trip both organise inclusive ski trips which bring Black culture to the mountains, with everything organised from lessons to fondue dinners.
For wellness lovers looking to indulge, influencer-haunt Heckfield Place in Hampshire has lots of treatments that will help you to unwind and in January is launching nature-focused retreats. The spa menu includes a 90-minute nature therapy treatment, in which you have a restorative 1:1 walk with a wellbeing psychologist designed to bring calm. But at £180 an hour, this is a little pricier than your average countryside stroll.
What to Pack: Look for sportswear with a stylish edge, such as Wales Bonner’s hyped-up collaboration with Adidas Originals and anything from Alo Yoga. These holidays might be active, but don’t just pack your gym kit because there is also lots of time for exploring where you aren’t working up a sweat.